Colts vs Texans Week 1 matchup preview and current betting lines
Two lifelong divisional rivals will kick off their season when the Indianapolis Colts visit the Houston Texans for Week 1. For the Texans, it’ll be the official start of the post-Deshaun Watson era, so Davis Mills will need to prove that he can lead the franchise going forward.
Even so, expectations shouldn’t be high for the Texans this season. Outside of Brandin Cooks and college star Dameon Pierce, there’s not much to work with in the offense, and it’s not like Love Smith’s résumé is impressive enough to make us think that he can turn the franchise around.
The Indianapolis Colts are also in the dawn of a new era. Matt Ryan is a major upgrade over Carson Wentz, so they should have no trouble finding more success than last season and clinching a playoff berth, especially considering they should be the top team in their division.
Once again, Frank Reich’s squad features one of the top running backs in the league in Jonathan Taylor, who should do most of the heavy lifting offensively. However, their defense shouldn’t be overlooked. That’s why the Texans could be in for a tough first game of the season in front of their home crowd.
Players to watch:
Matt Ryan: Matt Ryan is a former MVP and gives the Colts a massive boost at QB. However, he’s coming off throwing for just 3,968 yards last season, his lower mark since 2010, so he may not be the player he used to be as he enters his age-37 season. Still, the Colts will favor the running game, so he shouldn’t be asked to deal with a big workload.
Dameon Pierce: Dameon Pierce was a touchdown machine in his final season with the Florida Gators, rushing for 13 scores with three receiving touchdowns. He outplayed his rivals in training camp and the preseason and should be the focal point of the Texans’ offense.
Week 1 Predictions: NFL Bet of the week on Colts vs Texans
The opening Colts vs Texans spread has them favored by a touchdown in the season opener. It’s not usual to see a team favored this big on the road to start the season, but that speaks volumes as to how overmatched the Houston Texans could be ahead of this game.
The Indianapolis Colts’ defense is expected to rank near the top this season, and it’s not like the Texans bode any sort of threat in the passing game whatsoever. Brandin Cooks’ best years are far behind him, and some expect Davis Mills to regress from his somewhat impressive rookie campaign.
Jonathan Taylor is projected to be the league’s top running back behind an elite offensive line. His ability to break tackles and his lateral quickness should help him wreak havoc against a Texans’ shaky front seven that struggled against the run last season.
Frank Reich could be on the hot seat after last season’s humiliating debacle vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars, so the Colts will look to make a statement early in the campaign and keep their foot on the gas to win by a big margin on the road.
The Colts vs Texans odds have this game at 46.5 points, which seems a bit too high considering both teams’ identities. Both will favor the rushing game, meaning the clock will be running non-stop, which favors a low-scoring affair.
Also, the Texans will have plenty of trouble finding gaps vs. the Colts’ stout defense, and we wouldn’t be shocked to see them score a single touchdown with just a couple of field goals. This could be a very, very long night for Love Smith’s team.
Jonathan Taylor will have 20+ touches in the first game of the season, as there’s no reason to handle his workload carefully in Week 1. The Colts will jump to an early lead and try to control the pace of the game they should win easily.
Let’s also consider that divisional games aren’t usually high-scoring matchups. Both teams know each other pretty well and often take those games with a postseason-like approach, which is another factor that favors the under.
FAQ For Colts vs Texans
The Colts vs Texans matchup for Week 1 will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX.
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The Indianapolis Colts won 31-0.